Arthur Stockdale Cope

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Arthur Stockdale Cope
1908 London Olympics, a program paint by Arthur Stockdale Cope

Arthur Stockdale Cope RA (2 November 1857 – 5 July 1940) was an English portrait painter.

Life and work[edit]

Cope's father was Charles West Cope (1811–1890), a successful history and genre painter. He trained in art at Carey’s Art School before moving to the Royal Academy schools. He went on to establish his own portrait practice, exhibiting 288 works at the Royal Academy and the Royal Society of Portrait Painters between 1876 and 1935. He combined this prolific output with a prestigious roll call of sitters, ranging from Kings King Edward VII, George V and King Edward VIII, to Kaiser Wilhelm II and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

His clever use of fluid paint, striking colour and harsh artificial lighting, reminiscent of Walter Sickert’s style, are well seen in his portrait of Admiral of the Fleet Sir Frederick Richards in the National Maritime Museum, London (Greenwich Hospital Collection). His high-profile works and successful style won him many honours: in 1900 he became a fellow of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters; in 1910 he was elected Royal Academician; and in 1917 he was knighted. In addition to his busy painting practice, Cope established an art school in South Kensington and Vanessa Bell (1879–1961) was among his pupils.

Cope died in London on 5 July 1940.

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